Importance of Verifying Your Green Card Issuance: USCIS May Incorrectly Approve your GC Too Early

Navigating the labyrinth of immigration procedures is not an easy task, and even when everything is done correctly, errors can still happen. This can sometimes be due to oversights on the part of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This article will focus on one such case, where we represented a client whose Green Card was rescinded due to an error by USCIS.

The Unexpected Notice

In one particular instance, we represented a client, a native and citizen of South Korea, who filed for permanent residency. The Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) was approved by USCIS in December 2021, granting our client the status of a lawful permanent resident.

Shockingly, in August 2023, our client received a notice from USCIS stating their intent to rescind his status. The reason behind this reversal was that at the time of the final adjudication of the Form I-485, a visa was not available under his class preference. This was an oversight on USCIS’s part, and not a mistake by the applicant.

A Preventable Oversight

What is particularly troubling about this case is that during our client’s interview in December 2021, we had explicitly discussed the lack of available visa numbers with the interviewing officer. Both parties were in agreement about the shortage and it was understood that the client would have to wait for a visa number to become available. Yet, despite this understanding, the officer approved the Form I-485 shortly after.

The Delayed Response from USCIS

It’s worth noting here that our firm promptly informed USCIS about the error immediately after the approval and followed up numerous times. However, it took USCIS a year and a half to acknowledge their mistake and notify us of their intent to rescind our client’s status. In cases where the error lies with USCIS, the proper action should be to reopen the I-485, thereby allowing the application to revert back to a pending state.

The Larger Trend

Sadly, this is not an isolated incident. Another client, whose employment-based application was approved in October 2022, is now also facing potential revocation. It appears that various cases were approved in error, and USCIS is now trying to correct these mistakes. However, their approach leaves much to be desired, as they provide little to no guidance to the impacted parties.

Conclusion: The Need for Diligence

These examples highlight the importance of verifying the correctness of your Green Card upon receipt, even if you have done everything right. It underlines the necessity of being proactive and engaging competent legal counsel to ensure your rights are protected.

Our clients’ experiences serve as a stark reminder that the process can be prone to errors, even those made by USCIS itself. And while USCIS’s lack of an apology or remorse in their notices is disheartening, it only strengthens the need for applicants to be vigilant and proactive in their immigration journeys.